Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the United States should not forget that it would lose a strong and sincere partner if it does not change its attitude toward Turkey, announcing that Pastor Brunson will not be a part of a prisoner swap deal with US.
Erdogan also said that the remarks by Donald Trump about possible sanctions against Turkey were a "psychological warfare".
"I think this is psychological warfare. We will not step back with sanctions. We did not haggle regarding Brunson," Erdogan said, as quoted by Haberturk newspaper.
Erdogan also said that Turkey may turn to international arbitration if the United States fails to deliver of F-35 fighter jets to Ankara, noting that there are other options. Previously, an addition to the US defense policy bill for 2019 revealed that the process of transferring the F-35 jets to Turkey that it had already paid for would be temporarily frozen.
Donald Trump said earlier that if Ankara did not free Brunson, Turkey would face sanctions.
The US State Department said on Friday that US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday held a phone call earlier this week, in which Pompeo said it was "well past time for this innocent pastor Andrew Brunson" to come home.